As we approach the end of 2021, a number of businesses in the industry have decided to end the year with new features. After all, why wait for 2022 to launch new websites and introduce upgrades? There’s no time like the present.
The biggest excitement is probably regarding Airbnb’s changes. Recently, the platform revealed more than 50 upgrades. From accessibility to a Wi-Fi speed test tool, there’s an upgrade for everyone.
Here are the main headlines that dominated the vacation rental industry this past month.
As part of Airbnb’s 2021 Winter Release, the platform has announced that it made more than 50 upgrades to improve the user experience for hosts and guests. These upgrades include:
Hosts are especially excited about the changes that the platform has made to the protection that it offers. With the new AirCover, unexpected damage caused by pets will be covered in the future. Also, if hosts need to cancel confirmed bookings because of damage to their property, Airbnb will reimburse them for lost income.
As part of the Winter Release, Airbnb has also introduced updates to make it easier for travelers with disabilities to book accommodation and activities.
Firstly, hosts can now send photos that capture the accessibility features they offer. A specialized Airbnb team will then manually review these features. The aim of this new step is to reassure travelers that the listed features were confirmed.
Secondly, Airbnb has improved its platform’s search filter. Thanks to 13 updates, it will now be easier to find suitable accommodation.
It has also made updates to Experiences. By using the 11 filters, users will now, for example, be able to see which hosts offer sign language or which activities have no stairs.
Dtravel has launched a new home-sharing booking platform for short-term and long-term stays. Its aim is to offer hosts and guests more control at a more affordable price (hosts will pay 0% fees).
What sets it apart from other platforms is that it will be governed by its community by means of the Dtravel Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Bookings are also payable with Bitcoin, Ethereum or Tether. Extra cryptocurrencies are planned to be added in the future.
More than 200,000 listings have already been secured. To deliver a better travel experience for guests and hosts, the listings will be released in phases.
Staying with new platforms, a new vacation rental website has officially launched, called VacayMyWay. It is founded on open communication, value, and price transparency and aims to offer travelers the chance to book holiday accommodation easier.
Two features that set it apart from other platforms are its fee structure and security measures. The platform won’t charge any guest service fees, while hosts can benefit from guest identity verification.
It is currently available only in North America but plans to expand to Europe in 2022. Also, only entire private accommodation (in other words, no shared spaces) may be listed.
AirDNA has released its second monthly review of the European STR market for the year. While demand is still lower than 2019 levels, it has increased by nearly 40% from September 2020.
However, in rural areas in Germany, demand is already more than what it was in 2019. The highest demand growth was in Königsberg, followed by Friesland.
For European hosts who still have unbooked dates, there is some good news. The lead times are still more or less 30% lower compared to 2019. This means that last-minute bookings remain a common trend among travelers this season.
Vrbo released its 2022 Trend Report that takes a closer look at families’ vacation plans for 2022. According to this yearly report, US families tend to book accommodation further in advance and kids are given a greater input in the planning. In fact, 50% of families revealed that they let their kids choose the destination. Popular destinations include Cincinnati, Ohio, Niagara Falls, New York, and Yorktown, Virginia.
Also, increasingly more families choose to take their pets along. According to Vrbo data, there was a 40% increase in the year-over-year demand for pet-friendly accommodation.
On November 8, the United States reopened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign travelers. As the US boasts the biggest inbound travel market across the globe, this move was a major milestone for the vacation rental industry.
In fact, according to Airbnb data, during the week after the announcement was made in September, searches for trips to the US by foreign travelers increased by 50%. The most popular destinations, according to the platform, are LA, Miami, New York, Orlando, and South Florida Atlantic Coast.
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